On the day of the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple, Sunday, February 2, The Good Shepherd conducted a churching service for Marianne and Sophia. Churching is the blessing of mother and child forty days after giving birth. The mother and child are blessed at the door of the Church, the priest then carries the infant into the altar while asking God to bless them. What follows is a text of the sermon preached by The Good Shepherd’s Æthelwold Jenkins immediately following the churching. — Fr. Geoff
Blog Tag: Liturgical Year
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On the first Sunday of the New Year, we celebrate the service of Theophany (also called Epiphany). This service marks the Baptism of our Lord and the physical revelation of His place in the Holy Trinity. ‘And when Jesus was baptized, immediately He went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on Him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased”’ (Matthew 3:16-17, ESV).
Seemingly every year there’s a mad rush to tie up loose ends at work, shop, party and stress over visiting the relatives. Despite our streets and shops having awesome decorations, Christmas in Australia has become increasingly secular. The most counter-cultural thing you can do is to make this season an opportunity for increasing your spiritual sensitivity.
An increasing number of Christians have come to believe that Christmas is derived from paganism. They’ve heard that the timing of Christmas may have been borrowed from Roman sun god worship. Or that Christmas trees come from German paganism. Or that the star on top of the Christmas tree comes from astrological worship. But these myths are all so wrong. Christmas—the celebration of the Nativity of our Lord—is a thoroughly Christians celebration. Here’s why.
Well, we’re approaching the end of the first week of Great Lent in 2018. God’s been good, very good to us. And the season of Great Lent is rewarding! Let me relate a little of what is happening in the parish and what God is doing in our lives. Beauty and Charity Just in time for Great Lent, our re-covered Gospel Book arrived. It was covered by an Orthodox monastery in Belarus, and it is a gorgeously beautiful covering.
The Orthodox mind is a prepared mind. We never just “do an event.” We prepare for the event. And we never just prepare for an event, we prepare to prepare to prepare for the event! The fulcrum of our liturgical year is Pascha. Holy Week Prepares us for Pascha. Lent prepares us for Holy Week. And the week following Zaccheaus Sunday is when we prepare for Lent. So, today is the day we prepare to prepare to prepare for Pascha. What follows are six questions we can ask ourselves to see if we’re truly ready for Great Lent.
As we journey through life we become more and more aware of the patterns and cycles that emerge — in the natural world, in history, in society, in the spiritual life, and in the life of the Church. The Church in her wisdom has organised cycles that guide us through the events, the fasts and feasts of the Christian Year. The Church Calendar urges us to join this common life of the living Body of Christ, the Church. Let’s learn some more about the purpose of the Liturgical Year and its highlights.
The word Advent comes from the Latin Adventus which means “coming.” In the Church calendar Advent refers to the coming of Christ, and is the ecclesiastical season just before Christmas. Advent commences two weeks prior to the Nativity of Christ (Christmas), and is commonly referred to as the “Nativity Fast.” On these two Sundays we are reminded of the Holy Ancestors of God and the Holy Fathers, Patriarchs, and Prophets who played a role in the coming of the Messiah. In the hymns of the Sunday cycle of services, we hear of their great faith and are called to build our own.
Epiphany is celebrated on Jan 6th, and it commemorates the Baptism of our Lord in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13-17). Epiphany is one of the major feasts of the Liturgical Year. During this service the Parish Priest blesses the Holy Water for the year, which is used to bless the homes of the people in the congregation. Let’s learn some more about Epiphany, the Blessing of the Water, and House Blessings. The meaning of Epiphany The doctrine of the Trinity is revealed in the Gospel reading of Christ’s Baptism, which reads:
The Lenten season is about penitence and reconciliation with God. The Holy Orthodox Faith gives us a prescribed way to achieve this through fasting, prayer and almsgiving. During the time of Lent we endeavour to prepare ourselves in holiness that we might properly greet the Risen Christ at the greatest of all Christian Feast Days, Pascha (also known as Easter). Let's learn more about the purpose of Lent, the weeks of remembrance during Lent, and how Lent is practiced.